Retailers need to get educated on consumer sustainability sentiment in order to adapt to consumer wants and needs, according to a First Insight report.
The data revealed “major gaps” in retail executive knowledge of consumer sustainability preferences, according to a press release on the study findings.
While two thirds of consumers say that they would pay more for sustainable products, two thirds of retailers believe that consumers would not be willing to spend more for sustainable brands.
Nearly three quarters of the consumer respondents value product sustainability over brand name; nearly all — 9% — of the retailers believe the opposite, saying that brand name would be more important to consumers than sustainability, according to the release.
“This report clearly demonstrates that retailers are leaving money on the table. Brands and retailers must listen to the voice of the customer on issues as critical as sustainability. Consumers want more than performative measures from retailers and brands when it comes to ESG priorities, which will only become more important as Gen Z grows in influence,” Greg Petro, CEO of First Insight, said in the release.
First Insight partnered on the report with the Baker Retailing Center at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
“It’s imperative for retailers to understand their customers’ values so that they can adapt for the future,” Professor Thomas Robertson, academic director of Wharton’s Baker Retailing Center, said in the release. “For example, half of retail executives believe that price is the primary reason consumers shop across eCommerce formats. In fact, only 27% of consumers agree that price is their motivation, while a combined 54% say they shop resale because they care for the environment and prefer sustainable or circular shopping. Brands such as Vestiaire Collective and Farfetch Second Life know that there is a big future in resale, even at luxury price points.”